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Saul's Seance at Endor
by Wayne Blank
"these things are an abomination unto The Lord"
The Lord replaced King Saul with King David because Saul proved himself to be a poor leader, a man of erratic judgment. Saul's ordering his own son killed for eating after winning a battle for Saul (see Jonathan) is one blatant example of that. Saul's banning of witches and mediums, and then going to consult one, is another example of why Saul, if he had been permitted to remain as king, would have misled Israel to its destruction.
When The Lord stopped helping him, because Saul was misusing and squandering the help that he was given, Saul sought advice from a witch. Saul held a seance to contact the dead prophet Samuel.
"And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
The dead are dead ("For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing," Ecclesiastes 9:5; see also What Happens When You Die?), however from the Scripture account it seems that the essence of the person that awaits their resurrection (see Resurrections) can be contacted - something that The Lord commanded not to do because it is an "abomination unto The Lord":
"There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto The Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:10-12 KJV)
Nevertheless, Saul consulted a necromancer (i.e. someone who practices divination by conjuring up the dead) with the intent of contacting Samuel.
"And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.
Although some are of the opinion that it was not Samuel that was awakened, the Scripture account does not say that it was a fraud, or a demon impostor. The Scriptures plainly say "Samuel said to Saul." And it's also very important to keep in mind that the "Samuel" that was contacted accurately delivered a prophecy from The Lord about Saul's own impending death, or rather death penalty, for doing such evil things as conducting a seance.
"And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?
Fact Finder: The prophet Samuel is dead. As a true prophet of God, he will be in the first resurrection. When will that happen?